The United States Navy returned to the contractor seven new ballistic missile launch tubes due to defective welds.
The ballistic missile program of the US Navy for Columbia-class submarines, developed at a cost of 122.3 billion dollars, has had an unfavourable start when it discovered welding defects in several of its launch tubes, reports Defense News.
In total, 12 of these tubes, manufactured by BWXT, Inc., are being examined after flaws have been detected. Seven of them were already returned to the main contractor, General Dynamics Electric Boat, and are in various stages of retrofitting, while the other five were still under construction. The Navy and the contractor have launched an investigation, according to a statement from Sea Systems Naval Command spokesman Bill Couch.
The launchers were designed for the strategic Columbia-class submarines, which must replace the Ohio-Trident intercontinental missile carriers-as well as for Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines and future British-class Dreadnought submarines.
The discovery of an important quality problem, just at the beginning of the manufacture of the Columbia, introduces uncertainty in a program that already has little margin for delays.
The problem is even more worrisome because it questions whether it will be possible to deliver the Columbia on time, something the US Navy considers vital to ensure continued nuclear deterrent patrols, at a time when submersibles of the Ohio class reach the end of their lives. Useful.
Source: RT Actualidad